John A. Birdsall

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Birdsall Obear & Associates LLC
John A. Birdsall
Birdsall Obear & Associates LLC

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, DUI-DWI; view more

Licensed in Wisconsin since: 1989

Education: University of Wisconsin Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2023

Birdsall Obear & Associates LLC

1219 N Cass St
Milwaukee, WI 53202 Visit website


A shareholder at Birdsall Obear & Associates LLC, John A. Birdsall is a fearless and highly experienced criminal defense attorney serving clients in the Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Green Bay metro areas in Wisconsin. For 33-plus years, he has dedicated his legal career to exclusively representing the rights of those facing investigation or criminal prosecution. 

Having taken 270-plus cases to trial, Mr. Birdsall has attended to a wide range of violations, from minor traffic offenses to charges that may result in lengthy incarceration and hefty fines, if found guilty. They include murder, assault, homicide, driving under the influence (DUI), traffic offenses, sex crimes, violent crimes, juvenile offenses, fraud, theft and more.

After graduating with his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Mr. Birdsall earned a doctorate in law from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. The same year, he was authorized to practice law in Wisconsin and later in New York (2017).

One of Mr. Birdsall’s noteworthy cases includes a first-degree reckless homicide case, where he was able to secure a not-guilty verdict by cross-questioning the state's witnesses and employing a DNA specialist. Additionally, in 2009, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers awarded him the Martin Hanson Advocate's Prize, a prestigious honor bestowed upon attorneys who have accomplished the rare and impressive feat of winning a criminal homicide case.

Mr. Birdsall comprehends the anguish, fear and pressures his criminally accused clients face, and he utilizes all legal options available to obtain a favorable outcome. He believes that every citizen has the right to a fair and impartial trial, regardless of the accusation they may be facing. For his high ethical standards, professionalism and accomplishments, he is rated AV Preeminent* through Martindale-Hubbell and 10 out of 10 on Avvo.

Involved in his legal community, Mr. Birdsall has held several leadership positions in the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the State Bar of Wisconsin and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is also a part of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee – to name a few.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ falls into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

Focus areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, False Accusations, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Parole, Probation, Prosecution, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion, Theft, Traffic Violations

  • 50% Criminal Defense
  • 50% Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

First Admitted: 1989, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage:

  • Highest available rating for lawyers from Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • A prize that is only awarded for a not guilty verdict a homicide case., Martin Hanson Advocate Prize, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2009
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • 1994-2019 member and Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin;  2014-2018 member of State Bar Board of Governors; 2004-2006 President of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers;, 1994
  • Not Guilty of First Degree Reckless Homicide; Was a DNA "cold case" that occurred 20 years earlier.  I used a DNA expert and cross examination of the state's witnesses to demonstrate that many others could have been responsible for this strangulation homicide.  , 2009
Educational Background:
  • Attended and graduated from the Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming run by famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence.  It's a unique training that emphasizes telling your client's story through expressive means in court.  Much of that involves introspection by the lawyers as to what their own story is. This incredibly powerful technique has produced fantastic results for many of my clients., 2015
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • 2009 - Present; Volunteer attorney at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission - the largest homeless shelter in the city.  I also host an annual fundraiser for the Mission every year to raise money to help it continue to serve our most vulnerable population.  , 2020

Office location for John A. Birdsall

1219 N Cass St
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-488-6832


2 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2023

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